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Reviewing my DVD collection: Casino Royale

June 29, 2008

Those looking for a different take on the Bond Film, which seems to be a genre onto itself, won’t find it in Martin Campbell’s 2006 Casino Royale, which featured Layer Cake’s Daniel Craig in his debut as Agent 007.

The film has all the usual trappings of a Bond film: Really awesome cars, slow-motion shots of bikini-clad women emerging from the ocean or a pool, some suspect acting and some not-so-clever wordplay (Eva Green’s character is told that her pseudonym is Stephanie Broadchest upon entering the Casino Royale). While the film is a marked improvement from the literally unwatchable Pierce Brosnan installments, it’s far from perfect.

At almost two and a half hours, the film clearly has no idea when to end, something I really noticed the third time watching this movie. When you do finally get to the end, though I won’t give it away, you don’t feel as if you’ve earned that ending because, frankly, it doesn’t make any sense.

Daniel Craig is alright as James Bond though a little silly and overacted at times, see the torture scene, Dame Judi Dench is great as M, ditto for Jeffrey Wright as a CIA.

Some movies you really grow an affinity for after watching them a few times but upon watching Casino Royale again, I really grew to resent the film’s flaws. Yes, some of the action scenes are great but where movies like this need to excel, the plot and the storyline, Casino Royale simply falls short.

Certainly an enjoyable watch with tempered expectations, just be careful not to watch it too many times.

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